Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Optimism & Heroism

The Science of Optimism by Tali Sharot is the cover story for this week's issue of TIME magazine.

I read the story, which basically says we seem to be hard-wired to be optimistic, despite whatever our reality might be.

I thought about that for a while, and decided that every hero and heroine, no matter how grouchy or unwilling they might be, is an optimist. They believe they can make a difference...change a life, alter an outcome, or save the world.

Emily Wright, my protagonist of The First Victim, would not consider herself to be an optimist, but she is:

"She looked down at her palm. The scar that stretched across it had faded over time and was now nothing more than a thin raised line. No doubt there were a hundred doctors in Manhattan who could remove the physical reminder of what she’d suffered, but to her the scar tissue was a talisman of sorts, proof that hope could triumph over evil.
She’d learned an invaluable lesson the day she’d earned this scar. She’d learned that she was capable of more than she’d ever imagined, that help came from the most unexpected places and to never give up."

Emily goes home, the scariest place in the world for her, because she believes that she can help her younger sister despite the fact they've been estranged for years.

When Emily encounters The Babydoll Strangler, she doesn't think, "This is it, I'm a dead woman". She never gives up hope. She fights. She runs. She believes in the possibility that she can stay alive.

She, like the rest of us, is an optimist.

So here's my question Killer Friends: Do you consider yourself to be optimistic? Do you believe in the power of positive thinking, that there's always a silver lining, and that the cup is always half full? When have your optimistic tendencies helped you to accomplish something that the "realist" in you might have given up on?

I'm optimistic you might be willing to help me out. If you have a spare moment, could you please do one or more of the following:

"LIKE" The First Victim on Amazon

Follow me on Twitter

FRIEND me on FaceBook

You'll be my hero/heroine if you do!

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Make The Path by Misty Evans

One of my favorite dialogue scenes in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland takes place between Bayard, the bloodhound, and Alice when she decides to veer from the path pre-destined for her according to Underland’s Oraculum…

Bayard: The Hatter would not have given himself up for just any Alice.
Alice: Where did they take him?
Bayard: To the Red Queen's castle.
Alice: We're going to rescue him.
Bayard: That is not foretold.
Alice: I don't care! He wouldn't be there if it weren't for me!
Bayard: The Frabjous Day is almost upon us. You must prepare to meet the Jabberwocky!
Alice: From the moment I fell down that rabbit hole I've been told what I must do and who I must be. I've been shrunk, stretched, scratched, and stuffed into a teapot. I've been accused of being Alice and of not being Alice but this is my dream. I'll decide where it goes from here.
Bayard: If you diverge from the path...
Alice: I make the path!

Her response “I make the path” is my motto in life and in the fictional lives of the heroines I write. It sums everything up in four small, but powerful, words.

In fiction and in real life, I admire women who embrace that attitude. I’ve tried to do the same myself. It hasn’t always been easy to make my own path, but it’s been more fulfilling than simply going along with the one that works for ninety-nine out of a hundred other people. At the risk of sounding like your mother (or at least mine), just because something is right for all your friends, family or peers doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

In my new culinary romantic mystery, The Secret Ingredient, the heroine, Kate, is a Hollywood celebrity chef. She appears to have everything going for her—fame, success, her dream career—and she has these things because of the path she’s chosen and worked diligently at, but her past is full of secrets. Secrets that could ruin the persona she’s worked hard to perfect. So when an investigative reporter heads to her hometown in Montana to dig around in her past and write an unauthorized biography about her, she has to decide what path she’ll take. Stay safe in Hollywood and or go home and face the mistakes she made as a teenager and try to set things right?

She chooses to go home, of course—I wouldn’t write her any other way—and in the end unravels a mystery surrounding her mother’s death. Her trip turns into a plunge down the rabbit hole, though, and Kate has to switch course several times in the story as she confronts her estranged father (who dies on her live show) and Nick Juno, the boy she left behind and the only person who can prove her innocence when she’s framed for her father’s murder.

In the end, she goes back to Hollywood because she believes that’s the only path forward, even though her trip home has changed her fundamentally. She’s not the same person she was before returning home and she’s certainly not the same seventeen –year-old girl she was when she left the first time.

But Nick shows up on the set of her show and asks her if she really believes in the secret ingredient (love), and Kate realizes she can once again remake herself and her path. She’s the one who decides how much the past will affect her future and she’ll be the one to decide how she’ll live her life, no matter what trajectory it takes.

There are times when life throws us down the rabbit hole and we have to divert from the path we’re on. Other times, we make the conscious choice to go a different direction. Is there a time in your life when you went against the grain, made your own path, and are now better for it?

Misty Evans is currently making her path in the world of fiction writing. She’s the best-selling, award winning author of the Super Agent and Witches Anonymous Series and the first book in her new Lost Worlds Series, Soul Survivor, releases June 20th. The Secret Ingredient is available on Amazon, B&N and Smashwords.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. Learn more about her stories and sign up for her newsletter at www.readmistyevans.com. Like her author page on FaceBook or follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writer's Block

I just finished a novella a few weeks ago and on the heels of that a novel [both had been partially written for a while and I finally found the energy/muse/gumption etc. to finish them.]
Now I’m stumped. It’s been over a week and I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head, but none of them are really lighting the fire so to speak. I went from being totally in the zone, writing every time I sat down at the computer, stealing minutes here and there to finish scenes, editing like mad, and generally making steady progress all the time, to zip, nada, nothing, zilch.
It’s frustrating, not because it’s never happened before – I get writer’s block all the time, but because it’s such a downer after being on a roll like I was. While I was working feverishly, I felt somewhat liberated from all the mental baggage that had been holding me down for a while. I thought, I’ve finally gotten out of my own way, and now I can write like the wind. This is awesome.
Then I typed THE END and after that came the inevitable NOW WHAT?
I know what will happen. I’ll have a couple of false starts. I’ll begin two or three new stories and think they’re great for the first ten pages, then I’ll abandon them like yesterday’s newspaper. Ultimately I’ll hit up on something that works and that holds my interest and eventually I’ll be back in the zone again, but until then, all I’m good for is opening up cans of cat food.
What do you do when you hit writer’s block? Do you push through it and write anyway even though the stuff you write might get dumped? Do you find something else to do until the writing bug bites you again and you have no choice but to get back to work?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Darlings, Buddies, & what's best for a book

I’m going to tell you a secret about THE FIRST VICTIM (which will be released in three weeks, not that I’m counting down or anything, lol).

Emily Wright, the plucky heroine, has always been front and center of the story, but her love interest, Bailey O’Neil wasn’t a major player in my early drafts of the novel.

NOW I can’t imagine the book without my hero Bailey in his major role, but in the early drafts, I really thought I was writing a buddy novel. I created two FBI agents, Chase Morgan and Sebastian Black, who bickered and busted bad guys.

They’re great guys and I love them so much that I still hope to give them a book of their own one day, but for this book, they’re supporting characters.

Are you familiar with the saying “kill your darlings” (which I think has been attributed to Faulkner, but don’t quote me on that)? Basically it means to get rid of what you, the author, are particularly proud of, or find to be cute or witty, because it’s probably just self-indulgent drivel. Okay, maybe “self-indulgent drivel” might be a bit harsh, but chances are that your darling lines, or scenes, or characters, are not serving your story well.

Don’t get me wrong, I practically burst into tears when my editor asked me to tone down the importance of Chase and Sebastian, but after a few days of stewing about it, I realized she was right. It’s difficult to whittle away at characters you’ve invested so much in, but ultimately the story became stronger because of the cuts I made.

I didn’t “kill” Chase and Sebastian completely. They serve an important purpose in the story…just not one as important as I’d originally planned. Plus, by reducing their role, I had the opportunity to flesh out Bailey’s part even more.

I thought it might be fun treat to share a “darling” scene that was completely eliminated from THE FIRST VICTIM, so I’ve posted it over on my blog.

Speaking of treats, Misty Evans will be here on Friday telling us about THE SECRET INGREDIENT a culinary romantic mystery!

If you’re a reader, have you ever encountered secondary characters that have taken over a story?

If you’re a writer, how do YOU feel about killing your darlings?

Friday, May 20, 2011

CASTLE finale - A Romance Author and a Crime Writer Pass Sentence

SPOILER ALERT -- Wer're discussing the season 3 finale of CASTLE if you don't want to know what happened, click away now!

Castle Season Finale - A Romance Author’s POV
By Jennifer Colgan

I’ve been a fan of Richard Castle since his days as a space cowboy – oh, wait that’s Nathan Fillion. Well, regardless, I’ve been watching Castle, the pseudo-crime dramedy, since it began and following the frustratingly slow-moving romance between the handsome, charming crime writer and his muse, tough, independent New York City police detective Kate Beckett.

As a romance author, I’m all about the relationship angle of the show. My husband can tell who committed the weekly murder, usually before the opening credits are finished. I don’t really care who the killer is. I want to know if Castle and Beckett are going to kiss.

They’ve had their moments – meaningful glances, extended clutches and the occasional carefully contrived lip lock of which the two never speak again. As a dedicated shipper, I’ve been at my wits end for three seasons now.

But this Monday’s season finale gave my romance writer’s soul some much needed mind candy. We finally get to see Rick man up and give Kate what for – verbally that is. I loved the scene where he confronts her about her involvement in the perpetually dangerous corruption case that led, years ago, to the death of her mother. He accuses her of using the case as an excuse to hide from her feelings and check out of real life. In response, she dismisses him, from her apartment and ultimately from his self-directed apprenticeship at the precinct.

Good stuff. In a novel, this would fall about two thirds into the book, leaving a good third to get the leads back together for a satisfying HEA.

On TV, this is just the bait on the hook to keep people dangling all summer long.

After a stunning betrayal by one of her trusted associates, Kate is devastated. The final scene of the episode shows her speaking at the funeral of her boss who gave his life to right a wrong he had a hand in years ago. A shot rings out, and when the screams die down and the dust clears, Kate lies on the grass, bleeding, apparently having been shot. Castle is holding her in his arms, begging her to not lose consciousness, to stay with him. As her eyes flutter he tells her he loves her, and romance authors everywhere breathe a misty sigh. Her eyes close and the scene fades.

More good stuff. You can’t really get a darker moment than that. I’m more than certain Kate isn’t dead. [Her eyes would have stayed open] and I’m not even convinced she was really shot. This is TV after all; those writers just love tricking the audience. My prediction is Kate either won’t remember Castle’s confession of his feelings, or she’ll continue to skirt around the subject for another agonizing season.

Nevertheless, I’ll be there in September, waiting with baited breath to find out what happens next and still blissfully oblivious to the identity of the killer. It doesn’t really matter to me, as long as the characters are happy in the end. And all that unresolved sexual tension is ultimately resolved, of course.

A Crime Writer’s POV
By JB Lynn

CASTLE drives me crazy.

Not because I’m all caught up in the Castle-Beckett-relationship (or lack thereof) but because it’s so freaking inconsistent. One week it’s a lighthearted romp (like last week’s Beauty Queen episode). The next week it’s an emotionally wrought drama (like the finale).

The only thing that seems to be consistent about the series is that every episode revolves around the crime of the week (as Jennifer’s husband knows too well, the majority of those aren’t that difficult to figure out) but they’ve consistently dropped the biggest mystery of all (who was responsible for the death of Kate’s mother) for multiple episodes at a time. (I suspect they only trot it out for Sweeps months.)

So while Jennifer was happy that Castle and Kate had their blow-up, I was happy that some progress was made on the case. (And for the record, I’d guessed who the third cop was before the first commercial break…and I even told my husband they’d say he was a rookie at the time, lol.)

As a crime writer, a few things about the episode annoyed me.

-- At the prison, Kate takes charge of the response team. WTF? She had no authority in the prison and now she’s leading a bunch of guards (through the general population…because it makes perfect sense for a woman to go tearing through the general population of a high security prison) and tells them, “Take him.” Or whatever her lame line was.

-- Sorry, but I have a lot of trouble believing that a helicopter could land at a New York City courthouse and not garner attention…if not downright suspicion.

-- Can prisoners really make collect calls? I can believe that people in jail might be able to, but convicted prisoners? What’s to stop them from calling their pals and oh, I don’t know, arranging to have themselves broken out of prison…or an arraignment.

BUT with all that said, I have to give props to the writers Andrew W. Marlowe (creator) and Will Beall for the amazing sequence at the end of the show.

I LOVED the fight between Ryan and Esposito when they learned of their Captain’s duplicity. I thought it was a brilliant choice to allow those two characters to come to the realization and filter through the repercussions of their mentor’s betrayal, because it freed up Kate’s scene in the hangar to be more about danger and sacrifice. Viewers experienced an emotional walloping…first through Ryan and Esposito, followed by Kate, and then the knockout punch at the cemetery through Castle. (“Knockout was the name of the episode.)

I’ll watch again in September, not to find out what happens to Rick and Kate, but to find out who was responsible for her mother’s death. (I’ve got my theories about who that is, do you?)

Tell us Killer Friends: Do you watch Castle? If you do, do you watch it for the romance, the detective work, or the combination? Why did you first tune in? If you don’t watch it, tell us who some of your favorite tv couples through the years have been and why!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Genre hopping

How do you feel about authors who write in several genres? Do you think it’s all right for an author to write in several genres under the same name or should there be a separate identity for each type of book to avoid confusion for readers?
I ask because I’ve done a lot of Genre hopping since I started writing. My first published books were science fiction/erotic romance and at the time I thought that was going to be my niche. Over time, though, I’ve grown into paranormal, stories with historical flare and even contemporary. Bernadette has remained overall a science fiction author specializing in erotic romance, while Jennifer has played the field so to speak.
Now I’m wondering if I should go for greater separation and stick to just writing paranormal romance as Jennifer Colgan and create a new persona for a new genre. What that genre is, I’m not sure yet. Urban fantasy? Steam punk? Contemporary? I want to branch out, but not so far that I fall off the tree.
As a reader, are you confused when an author switches genres? Would you try to new genre because your favorite author hopped over to it? Are you bothered when you discover your favorite author has been writing books under another name that you didn’t know about?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book release jitters

Wow, four weeks from today THE FIRST VICTIM (available to pre-order now) will be released by Carina Press.

I've posted a fresh excerpt to celebrate!

Waiting for the first reviews to roll in is making me nervous. I wonder if most people are excited about reviews or if, like me, they dread them. It's not the criticism I'm worried about, it's the people that seem to love to complain. People who give a book one star...because they don't like its price (something the author doesn't have control over...unless they're self-published) or they don't like the genre of the novels. I wince for poor authors when I read something like, "I hate all suspense novels and this one is no exception." Really? If you hate suspense, why are you reading it???

Trying to finalize a blog tour is more stressful than I'd anticipated. If you know of anyone who might like me to guest post on their blog PLEASE let me know. Do any of you listen to podcasts from authors? If you do, which ones, and why?

The excitement of knowing that this project is finally going to see the light of day, is making my anxious. What if no one besides my wonderful editor likes it?

In case you can't tell, I'm a nervous wreck, lol.

But I can't blame all of my jitters on THE FIRST VICTIM, wonderful, exciting, nerve-wracking things are going on with another of my books (an unrelated project). Hopefully I'll have news to share about that soon!

So tell me Killer Friends: How do you cope with nervousness? Are you the kind of person who buzzes with nervous energy, or does a case of nerves deplete you? Do you ever post reviews of books? How much attention do you pay to reviews you read?

If those questions are too challenging for a Monday, I'm asking about superheroes today over on my personal blog. Hint: ACTIVATE!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's Friday the 13th -- Superstitious much?

Quick -- does the phrase "FRIDAY THE 13th" make you think of bad luck or the movie series?

Are you the superstitious type? Are you particularly wary of encountering bad luck today?

Will you make a point of avoiding spilling salt, walking under ladders, and opening umbrellas inside?

Personally I try to avoid doing all those things every day of the year, not because I think they'll yield bad luck, but because I think they make sense.

Then again, I have a love for black cats.

BUT I do think broken mirrors are bad luck...have you ever managed to clean one up without cutting yourself? I haven't.

As much as I may find some superstitions amusing, I DO find myself falling for them. Despite the fact I know that it's irrational, I find myself believing that things happen in 3s...so much so that I find myself waiting for the third thing to happen, lol.

Which superstitions freak YOU out? Would you buy a house with a street number of THIRTEEN? Are you relieved when you get into an elevator and see there's no 13? Do you consider yourself to be completely non-superstitious?

Wishing you a safe and happy Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thirteen Things I've Learned

I'm no expert on anything, but after four decades and then some hanging out on Earth, I've learned a couple of things worth sharing:

1. It’s not the chicken soup that makes you feel better, as much as having someone who cares enough to get you chicken soup.

2. Being beautiful won’t make you happy, but being happy just might make you beautiful.

3. Everything happens for a reason, sometimes the reason is just to make you question why things happen.

4. Doing the right thing doesn’t always feel like doing the right thing.

5. If you have a choice between cleaning your house and playing with your kids, play. The house will still be dirty when you feel like cleaning it, but the kids won’t always be kids when you feel like playing.

6. Being comfortable is more important than looking good.

7. No one ever died wishing they’d spent more time at work.

8. You learn more from the mistakes you make than the ones you don’t.

9. Your happiness is your own responsibility.

10. A good dog is worth muddy paw prints and piddle on the rug.

11. Driving slow will get you there eventually. Driving fast might not get you there at all.

12. High school is not ‘the best years of your life.’

13. When someone tells you not to try because they’re afraid you might fail, they’re really afraid you might succeed.

Hit me with your snippets of hard earned wisdom!

Monday, May 9, 2011

JUSTIFIED has the Greytest Characters

I'm a terrible audience when it comes to television shows or movies.

It takes a tremendous amount to impress me. I can rarely suspend disbelief. I can usually figure out what will be said/what's going to happen. It takes a lot to entertain or surprise me.

JUSTIFIED the television series based on the Elmore Leonard character U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, manages to both entertain and surprise me on a regular basis.

The second season just ended last week and I was trying to put my finger on exactly why this is a "can't miss" show for me. (To be honest, this is my only "can't miss" show...the last series I felt this way about was the short-lived, cop-turned-convicted-murder-turned exonerated police detective (after serving 10 years in prison) show LIFE.)

I finally decided that I love how GREY so many of the characters are. It's not that they're flawed...it's that they seem to hopscotch over the line between GOOD and BAD or RIGHT and WRONG with regularity.

I'm uncertain who is more screwed up or who I'd be more afraid to cross, U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (played by Timothy Olyphant)

Or criminal-reformed criminal-deadly bad-ass Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins who imho deserves some Emmy love, because he's the most likeable villain you'll ever see.)

Even this season's biggest baddie, Mags Bennet, played with chilling perfection by Margo Martindale, was a woman who had a lot of redeeming qualities. She loved her family deeply and n her own twisted way she was kind (at times).

Raylan regularly breaks the law (and I find myself disagreeing with his choices). Boyd often does the right thing (and I find myself cheering him on). That's why the show is so great, because the writers keep the audience guessing. Will Raylan shoot that guy? Is Boyd going to blow something up? What's the "right" thing for anyone to do?

The writers remind us again and again, that as much as Raylan would like to think he's so different/better than Boyd, he's really not.

So tell me KILLER FRIENDS: What is your "can't miss" show? And why? What show do you wish was still on the air? Do you watch JUSTIFIED? If so, why?

Most importantly, how do YOU feel about GREY characters? (I've had people tell me that they don't find Raylan and Boyd endlessly fascinating (as I do) but extremely frustrating.) Do you like your good guys to wear (figuratively) white hats (Raylan does!) and your bad guys to be dressed in black?

Friday, May 6, 2011

What's your weakness?

I ask not because I want you to explore your psyche and uncover the root of your difficulties in writing or in life, but because if I ever need to bribe you or extract information from you for national security purposes I need to know what will work.
A friend of mine the other night casually remarked that chocolate covered gummie bears were his weakness. My first thought, diabolical as I am, was I must file this knowledge away for a time when I can use it to my advantage.
I will freely admit, my weakness is maraschino cherries. I will eat them right out of the jar and then I’ll drink the juice. It’s bad. I can’t help myself. If I have them in the fridge, I’ll just go in there every once in a while and steal a few. I would happily trade nuclear missile launch codes for a jar of junk cherries heavily sauced with artificial color and floating in a sea of grenadine and high fructose corn syrup. I’m weak. What can I say?
I’ll tell you how bad it is…a few months ago, I picked up some almond extract for a dessert recipe and I realized the extract smelled an awful lot like maraschino cherries. I kept sniffing it…yeah, like glue. And finally I decided it might be worth a try…since it made the dessert taste so good the extract had to be a little slice of heaven.
I was so, so, so wrong.
Think…burnt hot dogs and plastic. I died a little before I stuck my mouth under the kitchen faucet and vowed never to taste an extract of any kind ever again. I bought myself a jar of cherries to drown my sorrows.
There. Now you know. I can be bought for a jar of maraschino cherries. [The red ones only, and the jar has to be big.]
So how about you? Come on, it’s time to fess up your darkest secrets. What does enemy intelligence have to offer you to get you to spill everything you know and then some? Is it honey BBQ chicken wings? Black licorice? Frosting roses? Those little wax bottles with the colored sugar water in them? You can tell me. I’ll keep your secret safe. J

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Character Study: Mary Sue

In keeping with Nana Malone’s awesome post on the Beta hero, I thought I’d talk a little bit about heroines today, specifically Mary Sue, The beta hero might be the guy we all love to love us, but Mary Sue is the girl we all love to hate.

If you’ve ever read or written fan-fiction you’re probably already familiar with Mary Sue. She’s everybody’s idea of the perfect woman. She’s the girl who can kick a$$ like a guy, but she’s prettier and more feminine than all the other girls in the universe. The hero just can’t get over how everything she does is perfect, and all his friends love her too. Even the villain has the hots for her and will do anything to make her his, but he’s got to stand in line behind the postman, the waiter at her favorite restaurant and every other man she’s ever met, and a few of the women as well. She’s the character anyone will do anything for just because she is who she is. She’s the face that launched a thousand ships – and she probably designed those ships, built them and painted pretty floral designs on all the hulls while the dolphins [who are her best friends] sang songs about her loveliness.

Mary Sue makes everyone else look like a dirty dishrag. She’s kind, noble, sweet, sexy, smart and she holds the key to saving the world. You might think, well, shouldn’t a romance heroine be all those things?

The short answer is yes – but the longer is answer is no. [Wait, yes is a longer answer than no...let me rephrase that.] Yes, a romance heroine should be someone we’d all like to have as a best friend, but she shouldn’t be the wind beneath our wings, so to speak. A heroine who is too much of everything quickly turns into the girl you love to hate, and the last thing you want is your readers hating your heroine because she’s perfect.

Here are a few rules for keeping Mary Sue out of your story:

  1. Give your heroine flaws – [Note: being too beautiful is NOT a flaw] She must have something in the minus column to balance out her necessary good qualities.

  1. Limit the number of people who are in love with her – it’s okay for the hero to adore her, and her close relatives might think she’s okay, but beyond that maybe only one other person should really think she’s the bees knees or it just gets tedious hearing how everyone harbors a secret or not so secret crush.

  1. Give her an enemy – it’s okay if the villain really seriously dislikes her. He doesn’t have to be secretly in love with her, honest. And it’s all right if she encounters people in her everyday travels who are even [gasp] indifferent to her charms.

  1. Miss Universe she ain’t – of course your heroine can be beautiful and the hero should think she’s the most gorgeous person he’s ever met, but readers get tired very quickly of hearing about her long, silky hair, her enormous flashing eyes, her perfect figure and tiny, tiny waist. Unless you’re creating Disney’s next princess, tone down the descriptions of her looks just a bit.

  1. Shave a few points off her IQ – not so much that she’s TSTL, but really, she can’t know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. If she’s disarming the nuclear reactor while practicing pop-psychology on her best friend and performing heart surgery in her spare time between belting out hit songs with her band [and her name isn’t Buckaroo Banzai] she’s too Mary Sue

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and I can name one famous Mary Sue character who even got her own movie...if you’ve ever read Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children Series, [Starting with Clan of the Cave Bear] her main character, Ayla, is a prehistoric Mary Sue. Ayla is beautiful, brainy and built. She’s given special dispensation to hunt like a man because she’s so darn awesome with a slingshot, she changes clan attitudes about everything from sex to food, she tames wild horses and snags the hottest guy in ancient France, and she’s starred in six best-selling mega novels.

So the moral of the story is, leave Mary Sue in the distant past where she belongs and make your romance heroine a little less than perfect. Your editor and your readers will thank you for it.

Do you know any other famous Mary Sues?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

Well no, you can't, not yet anyway, BUT I'm excited to announce that THE FIRST VICTIM is going to be produced as an audio book by Audible.com! Once I get more information, I'll be sure to let you know.

Are you a fan of audio books? I am. I love listening to them around the house while I'm cooking or cleaning and while I walk. I once made the mistake of listening to a David Sedaris book while driving and almost drove off the road because I was laughing so hard. Needless to say, I no longer listen and drive.

I enjoy the audio version of some books even more than their printed counterparts.

There is something absolutely magical about listening to Stephen King read ON WRITING (even if you've already read the book half a dozen times).

I loved reading the Spellman series by Lisa Lutz, but I loved listening to them even more.

And I was blown away by the audio version of Emma Donoghue's ROOM.

Tell me KILLER FRIENDS: How do you feel about audio books? What are some of your faves?

I've got more exciting news about THE FIRST VICTIM:It's available for pre-order on AMAZON and I've launched my new website: www.JBLynn.com where you can read an excerpt.